The playoffs start today in the minors leagues. Both Indianapolis and Altoona made this playoffs this year. We will have live coverage for all of the home games during their playoff runs. We will also have road coverage for Altoona in this series and if they play Trenton in the next round, then someone from the site will cover those games. If they win the first round and then play Binghamton, then we will just have detailed game recaps.
I’m including the playoff schedules for the first round below and we will keep those in the Morning Report until there are no more playoff games to be played. They will be updated daily with results from the previous day. The last Morning Report for the season will be the same day as the last playoff game, but you’ll eventually get over that empty feeling every morning once the winter league recaps start early next month. Don’t worry now though, we still have baseball to be played. There will be an article about Mitch Keller later today and I’ll include a preview for Clay Holmes in the Prospect Watch tonight. Here are the schedules, along with some notes from Tuesday.
9/6: Game One @ Durham 6:35 PM
9/7: Game Two @ Durham 6:35 PM
9/8: Game Three VS Durham 7:15 PM
9/9: Game Four VS Durham 7:05 PM (if necessary)
9/10: Game Five VS Durham 1:35 PM (if necessary)
9/6: Game One @ Bowie 7:05 PM
9/7: Game Two @ Bowie 7:05 PM
9/8: Game Three VS Bowie 6:00 PM
9/9: Game Four VS Bowie 6:00 PM (if necessary)
9/10: Game Five VS Bowie 1:00 PM (if necessary)
** Minor league pitchers for the Pirates took home some awards on Tuesday when the leagues announced the hitters and pitchers of the week. Austin Coley won the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week, Mike Wallace took the same award for the South Atlantic League and Adam Oller got the New York-Penn League award. If you missed our article titled The Twenty this week, shame on you, but here’s the link. Sean McCool covered Coley’s start live, I was at Wallace’s start and I talked to Adam Oller right after his start, so you get some detailed info on all three pitchers in that article.
** With his first out in the fourth inning last night, Steven Brault lost his prospect status. He crossed the 50 innings pitched barrier into non-prospectville (not an actual place). We almost lost two players from the prospect guide in last night’s game. Elias Diaz is at the absolute limit, getting his 130th MLB at-bat in the seventh inning last night, when he singled with two outs.
A few days ago I joked about Diaz losing his prospect status on Tuesday, then said “Tuesday the 26th”, only because he wasn’t playing regularly at that point. What a difference four days makes with the lineups. It’s actually a little shocking to see the Pirates stick to a plan to play the young players, which you hope continues. I also said there was no way Max Moroff wouldn’t be in the prospect guide, though there was a way, and that would be through injuries forcing him into action. I didn’t think it would take just one injury though, but this new idea of playing young players got him into the lineup, so now we have to look at where he is with the prospect status. Moroff now has 86 at-bats in his MLB career. Can he get 45 more in 23 games? You would certainly hope so! Stay tuned.
The Pirates trail in their division by 8.5 games. They are 7.5 games back for the second wild card spot.
Morgantown has been eliminated from the playoffs.
PIRATES GAME GRAPH
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates won 4-3 on Tuesday night over the Chicago Cubs. Gerrit Cole will be on the mound making his 29th start of the season today. He has faced the Cubs twice this season, both times in April, when he allowed two earned runs over 13 total innings. The Cubs will counter with Jose Quintana, who has a 4.50 ERA in 52 innings, with 62 strikeouts and a 1.19 WHIP since joining the Cubs from the Chicago White Sox in mid-July.
In the minors, the regular season is over for everyone except Morgantown. They play until Thursday and Gavin Wallace is scheduled to start today. Clay Holmes starts the playoff opener for Indianapolis tonight and Mitch Keller gets the opening game start for Altoona. The Prospect Watch tonight will have more information on both series.
MLB: Pittsburgh (67-72) vs Cubs (75-63) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Gerrit Cole (4.11 ERA, 43:160 BB/SO, 173.0 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (79-63) @ Durham (86-56) 6:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Clay Holmes (3.36 ERA, 59:99 BB/SO, 112.2 IP)
AA: Altoona (74-66) @ Bowie (72-68) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Mitch Keller (3.12 ERA, 11:45 BB/SO, 34.2 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (70-62) (season preview)
Low-A: West Virginia (69-67) (season preview)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (40-34) @ Mahoning Valley (43-29) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Rookie: Bristol (17-49)
GCL: Pirates (26-34)
DSL: Pirates (36-34) (season preview)
Here is Mitchell Tolman’s walk-off homer to close out Altoona’s regular season.
9/4: Pirates claimed Jack Leathersich on waivers from Chicago Cubs.
9/3: Josh Harrison placed on disabled list. Christopher Bostick recalled from Indianapolis.
9/3: Austin Meadows placed on disabled list.
9/3: Anderson Feliz and Justin Maffei promoted to Indianapolis. Mitchell Tolman and Casey Hughston promoted to Altoona
9/3: Kevin Kramer assigned to Morgantown on rehab.
9/2: Kevin Kramer and Taylor Hearn assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.
9/1: Pirates activate Wade LeBlanc and Joaquin Benoit from disabled list.
9/1: Hunter Owen added to West Virginia. Shane Kemp promoted to Bradenton.
8/31: Juan Nicasio claimed on waivers by Philadelphia Phillies
8/29: Mikell Granberry promoted to Bristol. Jason Delay promoted to Morgantown.
8/29: Brent Gibbs placed on disabled list. Raul Hernandez promoted to West Virginia.
8/29: Daniel Zamora promoted to Altoona.
8/28: Adam Frazier placed on disabled list. Pirates recall Dovydas Neverauskas.
8/28: Johnny Barbato optioned to Indianapolis. Jordan Luplow recalled.
8/28: Hunter Owen assigned to Morgantown.
8/27: Casey Sadler promoted to Indianapolis.
8/27: Barrett Barnes assigned to Indianapolis.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Nine former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including a player that lost his job to one Hall of Famer, then replaced another at a different position.
Derrek Lee, first baseman for the 2011 Pirates. He was a late-season acquisition, who hit .337 with seven homers in 28 games before getting hurt.
Frank Brooks, 2004 pitcher acquired from Phillies for closer Mike Williams. Made one unsuccessful start, then posted a 2.76 ERA in 16.1 innings of relief.
Pat Meares, infielder for 1999-2001 Pirates. Signed a four-year deal worth $15M with Pirates and ended up putting in just one full season due to injuries.
Mike York, 1990 pitcher. Threw seven shutout innings in his pro debut as a spot starter. Made just three relief appearances for the Pirates after that.
Jack Phillips, 1949-52 first baseman. With the Pirates for four seasons, but only played 158 games. Was in the organization in the minors until the end of the 1954 season.
Johnny Lanning, 1940-43, 45-46 pitcher. Won 11 games during the 1941 season and finished 33-29, 3.44 in 530.2 innings with Pirates.
Vince DiMaggio, center fielder for the Pirates from 1940 until 1944. Two-time All-Star for Pittsburgh, DiMaggio was strong defensively with a big swing that occasionally brought homers, but resulted in a lot of strikeouts. Six times he led the league in strikeouts. Pirates traded Johnny Rizzo to the Reds to get him. At the time, Rizzo held the Pirates record for homers in a season(23 in 1938).
Tommy Thevenow, 1931-35, 38 infielder. He lost his shortstop job in 1932 to Arky Vaughan, then replaced Pie Traynor at third base in 1935. Hit just two homers in his 15-year career and they were hit five days apart, both inside-the-park homers.
Bill Gleason, 1916-17 second baseman. Played over 2,000 minor league games and collected over 2,000 hits. Hit .159 in 14 games over his two seasons in Pittsburgh.